Herbivores face a rather more challenging problem

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Herbivores face a rather more challenging problem. big size animatronic dinosaur Plants are neither particularly nutritious nor readily assimilable when compared to animal flesh. Plants are primarily built from large quantities of cellulose, a material that gives them strength and rigidity. The crucial, and extremely awkward, point about this unique chemical, so far as animals are concerned, is that it is completely indigestible: there is simply nothing in the armoury of chemicals in our guts that can actually dissolve cellulose. As a result, the cellulose portion of plants passes straight through animals’ guts as what we call roughage. So, how do herbivores survive on what appears to be such an unpromising diet?


Plant-eaters have successfully adapted to this diet because they exhibit a number of characteristic features. Walking dinosaur costume They have a good set of teeth with hard-wearing, durable, complex, and rough grinding surfaces, and powerful jaws and muscles that can be used to grind up plant tissues between the teeth to release the nutritionally usable ‘cell sap’ that is enclosed within plant cell walls. Herbivores eat large quantities of plant food in order to be able to extract sufficient nutrients from such comparatively nutrient>poor material. As a result, herbivores tend to have barrel-shaped bodies that accommodate large and complicated guts, which are necessary to store the large volumes of plants that they have to eat and allow sufficient time for digestion to take place. Herbivores’ large guts house dense populations of microbes that live within special chambers or pouches in the gut wall; our appendix is a tiny vestige of such a chamber, and hints at herbivory in our primate ancestry. This symbiosis allows herbivorous animals to provide a warm, sheltered environment and constant supplies of food for the microbes; in their turn, the microbes have the ability to synthesize cellulase, an enzyme that digests cellulose and converts it into sugars that can then be absorbed by the host animal.